Energy & Resources Talking Points | 26/07/2017

In today’s talking points: China is committing billions to renewable energy (including fusion power); Qinghai, a Chinese province, ran on renewable energy completely for 7 days; JinkoSolar and Greatcell Solar Signed a non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding for Perovskite Cell Development; Foreign Investment in Australian Renewables Soars.

China is committing billions to renewable energy (including fusion power)

To reach the carbon emission goals China promised under the Paris climate agreement, the country plans to spend more than the equivalent of US$360 billion through 2020 on renewable energy, primarily with solar and wind as power sources. Since Beijing’s slowdown on coal burning as its primary energy supply, mainland scientists have jumped into the research of alternative energy sources such as frozen natural gas deep under the sea and fusion power. Researchers have taken a significant step forward this month regarding the development of fusion technology, as their latest experiment managed to control the reaction for more than 100 seconds. The project’s leaders predict that China will be able to use fusion power in 50 years’ time.

Read more at: SCMP


Chinese province, Qinghai, ran on renewable energy 100% for 7 days

The Chinese province of Qinghai ran on 100% renewable energy, including solar, wind, and hydropower from June 17 to 23. The week was part of a trial conducted by the State Grid Corporation of China, which aims to test the practicability of relying on renewables long-term. During the seven days, Qinghai generated 1.1 billion kilowatt hours of energy for over 5.6 million residents. Of all the electricity generated, more than 70% came from hydropower. As of May 2017, Qinghai’s power grid had a total installed capacity of 23.4 million kilowatts, with around 82% of that capacity made up of solar, wind, and hydro sources. By 2020, the province plans to expand its clean energy capacity to 35 million kilowatts, which could supply 110 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy annually.

Read more at: BusinessInsider


JinkoSolar and Greatcell Solar Sign MOU for Perovskite Cell Development

Australian company Greatcell Solar and Chinese firm JinkoSolar have signed a non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), whereby JinkoSolar will be given access to Greatcell Solar’s developmental perovskite solar cells (PSCs), with the long term goal of establishing a large scale PSC manufacturing plant. PSCs are some of the most efficient solar cells under development, currently able to achieve up to 12.6 per cent conversions, and this efficiency will only increase with further research. It is precisely this high efficiency that attracts JinkoSolar to PSCs, as low efficiency remains one of the main drawbacks of solar energy.

Read more at: RenewEconomy


Foreign Investment in Australian Renewables Soars

Foreign deals across the Australian renewable sector have increased over the past year, as the federal government struggles to reach consensus on the Clean Energy Target. The successful acquisition of Origin Energy’s Stockyard Hill wind farm by China’s Goldwind for $110 million is reflective of this trend. Moreover, it is rumoured that Goldwind is keen to purchase more Australian wind farms, while other Chinese firms are looking to invest in solar and hydro as well as wind projects. Interest is not limited to China, leading European renewable energy companies such as the Norwegian Res and Statoil and Spanish Renewable Ventures are also considering future projects in Australia.

Under current legislation the Renewable Energy Target has been set at 23.5 per cent by 2020 and 42 per cent by 2030, additionally Australia has agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement. More foreign investment will be needed in the renewable energy sector to hit these targets.

Read more at: The Australian